A Court of Honor for Aleksander C.J. Everett was held at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center on Oct. 6. The center is where he did his Eagle service project by creating a tree identification trail.
Everett began his scouting career as a Tiger with Cub Pack 209. He transferred to Pack 41 to be closer to his school friends. He attended day camp at Beltzville, attended the Cub Fall Event and Snowbound at Camp Trexler and received the Arrow of Light at the Blue and Gold Banquet in 2005.
He moved up to Troop 41 and at his first campout he worked on earning the Tote 'N Chip and Firem'n Chit badges which remained his favorites for many years. After achieving First Class Scout, he quickly moved on to Star and Life scout.
When Troop 20 formed at St. John's Lutheran Church, he transferred there.
As a Life Scout it was time to start thinking of an Eagle Scout service project.
Scoutmaster James Schneck oversaw the presentation of colors and the presentation of Everett by an honor guard of scouts from the troop.
Advancement coordinator Drew Everett officially opened the Court of Honor and Pastor Irving Moore gave the invocation including the words that "We know, Lord, that being an Eagle Scout is a lifetime event."
Assistant Scoutmaster Greg Gruber said the fundamental principles of scouting found in the oath and law are God and Country, Duty to Others, and Duty to Self. A large candle was lit for each.
The 12 points of the scout law, for which small candles were lit, are to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Each was presented by a different scout who explained the meaning and lit the candle.
All Eagle Scouts present were recognized: Robert Keyser, Brent Green, Michael Sander, Aleksander Everett, Jesse Schneck and Steven Semmel from the troop, and 1985 Eagle Rep. Doyle Heffley.
The trail to Eagle is considered a steep trail from tenderfoot through the ranks but the real climb begins with the Star ranking.
Scout Michael Sander gave the charge to Everett. He said he had the honor to tell him he had gained the highest rank and had been counted worthy of being an Eagle. "Your position is one of obligation.
"Leave behind you a record of which everyone may be proud. We welcome you into the brotherhood of Eagles," said Sander.
With his scoutmaster and assistant scoutmaster by his side, Everett was given the scout oath by Brent Green: I reaffirm my allegiance to the three promises of the scout oath. I will at all times do my best to help other scouts, he said.
Schneck said that by the authority invested in him by Minsi Trails Council it is his pleasure and honor to welcome Everett as an Eagle Scout.
Drew and Julie Everett were introduced. His mother, Julie, pinned the Eagle badge on Aleks' shirt. He presented the Eagle father's pin to his father for the many hours of help he received from him. The Eagle mother's pin was also for the many hours of work that went into his gaining the Eagle rank.
Schneck said the Troop had the scouts' names placed on their neckerchief so they would never forget their name or that they were Eagles. That neckerchief is given to the mother and an Eagle neckerchief is placed by the scoutmaster on the new Eagle.
Rep. Heffley brought citations from the state House of Representatives and the Senate. The one from the Senate was sent by Sen. David Argall. Heffley said when he worked in the private sector they were sent to leadership schools where they learned things they had already learned as scouts.
Brent Green gave Everett a flag that had flown over the Capitol in Washington DC. Collin Green presented him with a gift from the troop.
Everett thanked everyone who helped him. "Everyone here is a large part of my life, parents, grandparents, church family. I don't think I'd be where I am if not for them, and I thank God because he is a big part of my life."
An Eagle chooses the person who mentored him through scouting. Everett chose his scoutmaster, James Schneck, and presented him with the Mentor's pin.
Since Everett's Eagle project was done at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, Director Dan Kunkle added his congratulations. He remembered Aleks from Ecology camp in sixth grade and it was obvious then that he knew about trees. He joined the Naturalist Club where he became the tree expert. He led tree walks for the center.
So when he asked about a service project for Eagle, it was a natural idea that he would make a tree identification trail which has been used by over a thousand kids. The trail also became a site for the center's rare plants project.
The benediction was given by Julie Everett.
Aleks' father, Drew, was a Boy Scout and his mother, Julie was a Girl Scout. His brother, Benjamin, is close to earning the Life rank. The family lives in Palmerton.